Even today if you declare yourself a fan of The Monkees people can look at you somewhat askew.
Behind the scenes and away from the glare of the TV lights this manufactured band contributed to both social causes and underground publications like the San Francisco Oracle, mingled comfortably and equally with the counter culture musicians of the day, and experimented with new musical technologies as much as their peers. Daily Nightly gives you a tantalising taste of that.
*PISCES – Although disputed by composer and musician Quincy Jones, who cited his theme to TV’s Ironside, Daily Nightly by The Monkees is universally considered as the first commercial pop use of the Moog organ. Mickey Dolenz owned the third commercially available Moog organ on the market – the first owned by Wendy Carlos, and the second owned by country music star Buck Owens. Exhausted from sessions on the drums for The Monkees’ album Head, Dolenz relinquished percussion duties for a short spell to concentrate on his new electric toy.
*AQUARIUS – Even during their most strained and most tense times as a band Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Davy Jones recognised Dolenz’s strength as a vocalist within the band and would defer to him as lead singer. On Daily Nightly he takes vocal duties on this Mike Nesmith composition about the 1966 riot on Sunset Strip (immortalised in the movie of the same name and in the Buffalo Springfield track For What It’s Worth).
*CAPRICORN – During the session Paul Beaver programmed the Moog for Dolenz. Beaver played the Moog that same year for Mort Garson on the album The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds, which is noted as the first West Coast album use of the organ. (Daily Nightly appears as a single track on the 1967 Monkees’ album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, and Jones Ltd.
*JONES – The Monkees never performed the song live on stage until the death of Davy Jones in 2012. The hugely successful tribute tour An Evening With saw them perform it live against a photo of an ancient Moog and several elderly house plants with Nesmith imitating the strange whale-like sound of the Moog vocally. The joke was that the Moog was both too expensive and too heavy to take on tour and thus they had to make do.